The Rock of Cashel is an imposing castle rising high above the town of Cashel in County Tipperary, Ireland. Its storied past draws from Ireland’s history and Irish mythology.
Rock of Cashel History
According to Irish mythology, the hill this castle sits on was taken from the Devil’s Bit, a mountain 20 miles north of Cashel. The devil is said to have taken a bite out of the mountain when St Patrick banished him. As the devil flew over this spot, he spat out that piece of mountain here at Cashel.
This was the seat of the kings of Munster, and so it is said to be the site of the conversion of Aengus, King of Munster, by St Patrick in the 5th century.
The group of Medieval buildings that make up the Rock of Cashel are the 12th century round tower, the 12th century chapel, the 13th century cathedral, and the 15th century castle. The site is surrounded by a foreboding graveyard that is appropriately dismal on a cold, gloomy day.
Touring the Rock of Cashel
They have guided tours that last about 45 minutes, available every hour on the half hour. Or you can explore on your own. I only spent about 30 minutes here because it was a cold, rainy day and I wanted to get out of the weather.
Getting to the Rock of Cashel
Most people make the pilgrimage to the Rock on their own by taking the bus from Cork or Dublin. From Cork, take the Bus Eireann #X8 from Cork Bus Station, Cork Parnell to Main Street in Cashel. From Dublin, take the Bus Eireann #X8 from Busaras Bus Station to Main Street in Cashel. It’s just a 10 minute walk from the bus station to the castle.
I really wanted a bus tour so that I could see many of Ireland’s site in one day. It was difficult to find a bus tour that included the Rock of Cashel on its itinerary, but not impossible. I took this Blarney Day Tour through Viator.
Visiting the Rock of Cashel
The site is open all year at different times during the year:
- Mid-March to Mid-October from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- Mid-October to Mid-March from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Last admission is 45 minutes before closing. Most people tend to spend 1-1.5 hours touring the ruins.
Admission costs €8 for adults, €6 for seniors, and €4 for children and students.
Top Rock of Cashel Day Tours
Are you planning to visit Rock of Cashel on a day trip? To take some of the stress out of planning your visit, opt for a guided tour! Check out this list of the top Rock of Cashel day tours from all over Ireland to help you make the most of your trip.
- From Dublin: Rock of Cashel, Blarney Castle, and Cahir Castle Tour
- From Dublin: Rock of Cashel, Blarney Castle, and Cork City Tour
- From Waterford: Rock of Cashel and Kilkenny Tour
My trip to the Rock of Cashel was part of my “three-castles-in-one-day” trips, because the more castles the better! You easily see this castle in conjunction with a trip to Blarney Castle and Cahir Castle. You can read about the tour I took here: A Day Trip Traveling Across Southern Ireland.
Ready to visit the Rock of Cashel in Cashel, Ireland? Plan your trip with these tips.
- Book your flight: Find the cheapest flights using Skyscanner, my favorite flight search engine.
- Find accommodation: You can find top hotels in Cashel, or make it a day trip and find top hotels in Cork or in Dublin using Booking.com.
- Get packing: Make sure you’ve packed everything you need with my packing list resources.
Have you visited the Rock of Cashel in Ireland? Let me know in the comments!